Halo Settings: Blurring the Lines of Contemporary Design

round halo engagement ringIn the world of diamond engagement rings, the round cut (also called the brilliant cut) reigns supreme. But the cut of the diamond is only half the story. The ring setting isn't just a place for the diamond to sit -- it's a part of the ring, a key element in design and aesthetic that can highlight or contrast the main stone, depending on your tastes.

And that's part of what makes the halo engagement ring so... engaging.

The halo setting is the perfect example of a seamless integration between the main stone and the rest of the ring. Small diamonds are set around the perimeter of the main diamond (that's the "halo"). The proximity of the smaller stones combines their sparkle with the main stone, and the result is a sea of refraction that takes your breath away.

A round halo engagement ring will naturally have a round halo, while an emerald or a square cut will include four corners -- but the effect is still the same. The surrounding stones blur the boundaries of the diamond, no matter the cut, and unify the whole piece in a way that a simple solitaire or channel setting just can't match.

Of course, the cut of the main stone will have other effects on the appearance of the ring. Round cuts (also called brilliant cuts) are the most popular cut, providing the perfect proportions for fire and brilliance (or how the light refracts and reflects when it enters and leaves the diamond). When placed in a round halo engagement ring setting, this wash of light blends perfectly into the smaller stones, and can make the main stone appear up to 30% larger than it actually is.

On the other hand, an emerald cut (a rectangular step-cut diamond with trimmed corners) highlights the space and geometric regularity within the diamond, rather than the intense sparkle of a round cut. When placed in a halo setting, the emerald cut sits in stunning contrast to the twinkle and shine of the smaller surrounding stones, providing the eye with a tapestry of visual textures.

Any stone can be set in a halo setting, and to great effect. Check out the wide variety of pieces available, and see which one captures your eye -- and your heart.